Oakland Raiders: Dennis Allen Talks Timetable for Ford, Injuries, Workload for Starters
Stuart Kovacs – Aug 19, 2012
On Saturday, Oakland Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen held a held a conference call with the media where he talked about Jacoby Ford’s timetable, the rest of the team’s injuries, and Darren McFadden’s workload.
On the injury front, the biggest news is regarding wide receiver Jacoby Ford, who has struggled in the team’s two preseason games so far.
In the first game against the Dallas Cowboys, the former Clemson Tiger dropped two passes, failed to fight for the ball on an interception, and looked lackadaisical in the return game.
On Friday against the Arizona Cardinals, Ford looked better from a performance standpoint but was forced to leave the game with a sprained foot and did not return.
After getting an MRI on the injury, Allen said there’s no definite time frame on the receiver’s recovery. However, he did not rule out the possibility that the injury could linger into the regular season.
"If you ask me, is there a chance (he could miss regular-season time), yeah, there's a chance. But we've still got to continue to look at it to see what type of time frame we're looking at."
In addition to Ford, the Raiders are also nursing the injuries of a few other key players who left Friday’s game with injuries.
Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey also left the game with a shoulder injury. Allen says the team will monitor the former first-round pick in practice this week as he deals with a little bit of soreness.
“It was not serious he’s a little sore today but we’re going to monitor him in practice this week and see how much he is able to do.”
Running back Mike Goodson left the game with shoulder weakness and quarterback Matt Leinart received a cut on his right index finger. Both injuries seem to be extremely minor but will be monitored throughout the week.
“Goodson just had some weakness in his shoulders but we looked at it today and he feels good and looks good. We did some tests on him to make sure it wasn’t anything related to the neck injury and everything looks fine. Matt just had a pretty good cut on the index finger of his right hand so I think he’s going to be fine too.”
There is also a litany of players who are attempting return to the field after absences due to injuries.
Wide receiver Denarius Moore, who has missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, is slowly making progress and getting closer to returning to the field.
“Denarius is getting closer. I don’t know how close he is yet but he’s obviously getting closer.”
Running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring) and tight end Brandon Myers (shoulder) are both nearing returns. Allen is hoping that both players will be back this week to give aid to positions that do not have a lot of depth.
“I’m hoping to have both of them back this week.”
Linebacker Aaron Curry, who has missed all of training camp with a knee injury, is back with the team after seeing a specialist in Los Angeles.
After running for a little on Saturday, Allen says that the team will evaluate the former first-round pick as time goes on.
“He’s back. He worked out today with a running program and looked pretty good. We’ll look at him tomorrow and see where he’s at and evaluate him as we go along.”
With all the injuries that the Raiders have sustained, Allen is not afraid to bring in new players through any means necessary.
He says that the team will continue to evaluate the current roster as well as look at the rest of the league for possible players to add to the roster.
“We’re going to be evaluating the guys we have here but we’re also going to looking at the rosters of the 31 other teams and looking if someone becomes available that can help is in that regard.”
After an 0-2 start to the preseason, Allen understands that the team can improve in all aspects of the game. However, he is not concerned and is confident that the team will be ready for the regular season.
“We’re a work in progress offensively, defensively, and in special teams. I’m not real concerned about it because I know we’re going to get it corrected and we’ll get where we need to get to.”
Allen is also not apprehensive about quarterback Carson Palmer and some of the poor throws he has made. He attributes his learning of the new west coast offense to his struggles so far.
“I think Carson is still learning in this offense. I don’t have any reservations or doubts about Carson Palmer. He’s had a good camp and I expect when opening day comes around that he’ll be a good player for us.”
When the Raiders play the Detroit Lions in their third exhibition game this coming Saturday, Allen expects a similar workload for the starters, including running back Darren McFadden.
He wants the former Arkansas Razorback to be ready for the season and believes playing time in preseason games is the only way to prepare him.
“I think we’re looking to get something similar. Maybe we’ll play our starters a little longer but I want to get him some work so he’ll play in the game.”
Allen singled out wide receiver Rod Streater for the effort he gave during Friday’s game.
On an interception thrown by Caron Palmer, the former Temple Owl ran down the defender and tackled him just before he got into the endzone.
Allen likes to see that hustle out of his players and thinks Streater’s play should be an example for the entire team.
“Well I think the play that he made on running the guy down was outstanding and exceptional. That’s something that everyone on the team needs to understand and see because that’s the type of effort we need to win and that’s what you’re looking for.”
The Raiders will resume practice on Sunday as they begin their final week in Napa, California.
Raider Nation Times will continue to monitor the team’s progress throughout the entire training camp period.
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